In recent years we’ve seen the popularity of bow ties grow as the preference for long ties declines. But now that we’re mid-way through 2013’s prom season, this year is the first year in recent memory that the large majority of prom orders have opted for bow ties. While the bow tie trend has been growing for a long time now, the sudden boost to such a large majority has even surprised us a little. This is fantastic news for the formal wear industry, but you may be wondering why. Well, it’s because we’re not just talking about ties.
A Little History
Since the tuxedo’s conception in the mid to late 1800’s, bow ties have been the intended and appropriate choice of neck wear to accompany them. While specific formal events may call for the occasional ascot, long ties have never been intended to be paired with tuxedos, with the exception of livery staff (to tell them apart from the guests they serve.) And so it has been for well more than a century that tuxedos have been worn with bow ties.
At some point in the last half century, however, the correct interpretation of formal wear began to lose importance. The formality of tuxedos lost even more popularity in the 90’s as dressing down became the trend, rather than dressing up. When that happened, more tuxedos began to be paired with long ties in an effort to dress them down a bit and make them look like suits, which were increasing in popularity. Since then there’s been a tug of war battle for dominance between long ties and bow ties paired with tuxedos. But again, we’re not just talking about ties.
Bow ties represent the correct and traditional interpretation of the tuxedo. Long ties do not. So the fact that more and more prom goers are opting for bow ties represents that dressing up is ‘in’ again. To choose a tuxedo with a bow tie over a long tie is to embrace the ensemble and it sends the message that you are dressing ceremoniously to commemorate something special and something fun. It indicates a shift in perspective. Instead of tuxedos being something you have to wear dutifully, and something you can hopefully make look like a suit, prom goers (aka youth… the present and future of our culture) want to wear tuxedos that look like tuxedos. And when timelessness is embraced, and special occasions are viewed and treated as such, that’s good news for everyone involved.
Check out our Complete Bow Tie Listing!
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